If you are wondering what five Canadians were doing at the Edlavitch DCJCC, the answer is…they were getting ready to perform for the closing night of the Washington Jewish Music Festival (WJMF) on November 12, 2017. Led by Juno-award winning trumpeter and composer David Buchbinder, the incredible musical group Nomadica brought together the music and the world of the Arabs, Roma, and Jews for a fantastic closing show.
The audience was as diverse as the cultures that influenced the music of Nomadica: American Jews (and non-Jews), Southern and Eastern Europeans, Arabs. For music, we all come together to listen to a genre that sounds reminds each of us of our homelands in different ways.
Vocalist Ms. Roula Said danced, and her voice hypnotized the audience by deeply connecting with each beat of the music. She sang in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Arabic, and Turkish. I truly felt the authentic connection between Ms. Said and the other musicians. This rich connection was strengthened by the fact that Ms. Said is the long-time wife of Mr. Buchbinder, as she explained before performing a song from their wedding ceremony.
Every song was an amalgam of rhythm and vocals, improvisation, and perfect coordination between sound, voice, and dance. The public was enthusiastic and moved on their chairs to the beat of the songs.
We were transported to different countries and became a part of different stories: stories of love, travel, religion, abandon, and friendship. Jazz, klezmer, funk, and middle-eastern music infused the track list – sometimes even in the same song, thanks to Nomadica’s musical talent and eclectic abilities.
The end of the show was bitter-sweet, as nobody wanted to say goodbye to this wonderful band and their music, or to the 2017 edition of the WJMF.
The only flaw of the evening? Despite the several attempts of Ms. Said to push the public to stand up and dance, only a few people accepted her invitation.
But, if I can offer any advice for future Washingtonian concert goers – if you ever feel the urge to dance, just get out of your chair and dance!
The WJMF has ongoing concerts throughout the year. You can find upcoming concerts here.
About the Author: Daniela is a part of our “Gather the Bloggers” cohort of talented writers who share their thoughts and insights about DC Jewish life with you! She is a “retired philosopher” who works as an executive assistant and loves to write about Italian and Jewish events happening in DC. She was born and raised in Sicily (Italy) in an interfaith family and moved to D.C. with her husband after studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where they met. They have a wonderful Siberian cat named Rambam! Daniela loves going to work while listening to Leonard Cohen’s songs and sometimes performs in a West African Dance group